A celebrity is someone who spends the first part of their life seeking fame and the second half celebrating it wearing dark glasses indoors. With the death of Viveka Babajee, the pursuit of fame suddenly seems more like a nightmare than a dream. The sad part about someone from the industry giving their life is that it makes us all look like a breed of insecure and unstable people. Stardom comes at a hefty price: media intrusion, the slide towards self-absorption, burn out, drug dependency, isolation, depression and suicide. Not like I’d know, but being someone who’s almost famous, it scares me.
I have had my share of mini highs and lows. The highs are brilliant and the lows can be extremely depressing in contrast, having days feeling ultimately aimless.
Just last week I wrote about my support system. Maintaining the love of close friends and family is a key to stability. Most starlets fall into the hands of the wrong men: the ones who love them for their looks and those who promise to deliver their dreams. Being in a career that’s not stable, it’s crucial that your relationship is. Fame can get addictive, and leading a normal life without all the attention becomes the biggest fear. What most reports aren’t saying is that what really killed Viveka was not a thwarted love affair but corrosive insecurity and despair.
The survival guide
The route taken is familiar; get discovered, get to Mumbai, get assignments! Some girls can handle it better than others, while some manage to get away and escape. Viveka didn’t! The awareness of a model’s shelf-life often evades their thoughts and suddenly assignments dry up and the bubble bursts.
Having auditioned with Viveka and chatting briefly with her a while ago, in hindsight, it seems more like another unfortunate case of a sweet soul lost in the murky modelling world, lured in by promises of great success.
Contact with reality should be sought and hold significance. I value the strong bonds I maintain with more people outside the industry than in it, which keeps me grounded and dilutes the disappointments.
When a little birdy told me about models attending Viveka’s funeral, in top designs, only to be snapped by the press, it only made me more thankful for my earthling friends!
It’s only natural to have fears about not making it and its added pressures. I’ve been in constant check of myself, trying to keep my feet firmly rooted to reality, not giving in to vanity or thriving on the little attention I get. I only hope I practice my preachings and deal with all that lies ahead on this rocky road.
After all, life is that ideal combination of what you make it, and how you take it!